Comandante Fonseca And Liberation Day: 50 Córdoba (Nicaragua, 1984)-Article

Updated: Mar 13

This Nicaraguan banknote represents the 1st denomination of the First Cordoba (Series F, 1984). The Series F was preceded by Series E. Which was introduced in 1979. After the FSLN (Sandinistas) overthrew the Somoza regime. Notably these post-Somoza notes features a less classical modernist design. Although continued to use color coding in their design.

Additionally some notes of the Series F were reissued as the First Córdoba Overprint (Series 1987). These notes feature stamps, which revalue the note's original face value. They served as an emergency measure, against rampant inflation. They were replaced by the short-lived Second Cordoba.


The observe features a portrait of FSLN (Sandinistas) founder “Comandante” Carlos Fonseca (1936-1976). He was school teacher, who founded the FSLN two years after visiting the Soviet Union. He died 3 years before the FSLN's victory. While battling the Guardia Nacional (National Guard), in the mountains of western Nicaragua. A watermark of Augusto Sandino appears opposite of the portrait.

The note's header reads the (trans.) "Central Bank of Nicaragua", it rests above intricate "flag" patterns. is the note's serial number "005841603". Notably this header serial number is the first of a dual-serial. The second serial number being located on the note's footer, on the lower right. Below is is a reference to the note's printer, "Thomas De La Rue And Company Limited".

Moving towards the note's center, its Spanish text reads (trans), "50 Fifty Cordobas". It rests on a overlapping guilloché pattern. Notably on the 50,000 Córdoba (1987) denomination of the First Córdoba Overprint. This area is covered with an overprinted stamp, which begins slightly above this note's "2 July 1984" and "6 August 1984" directive and resolution dates.

Additional number "50"s can be seen on the note's corners, resting on decorative guilloché backings. These numbers are stamped over on the before mentioned 50,000 Cordoba note. These stamps feature "BCN", representing the (trans.) "Central Bank of Nicaragua".

Moving to the footer, there are 3 separate signatures. They are the "Minister of Finance", the "Central Bank President", and "Central Bank Vice President". If one closely inspects the footer they will notice microprint. In addition to the footer's "chainmail" pattern, is the underprint's "stucco" pattern. The watermark area also features microprint, in the form of angled lines.


The reverse depicts “Liberation Day” celebrations, on 19 July 1979. The capital city Managua was taken, after Anastasio Somoza fled to Miami (USA). Effectively leaving the Nicaragua government leaderless. Allowing the FSLN entered the city virtually unopposed. The building depicted is the Catedral de Santiago, damaged in the devastating 1972 Nicaragua earthquake.

Just as observe the header reads the "Central Bank of Nicaragua". Below is a pair of patterns, similar to the observe. These complementary patterns form the note's registration element. Each side has a unprinted negative and printed positive. When placed over bright light, each side's positive fill these gaps, completing the light puzzle effect.

At the notes center is a note's center is a large number "50". Below is the text (trans.) "Fifty Cordobas". Additional "50"s are located at the notes corners. All which lay on decorative guilloché backings.


Additional Notes

  • This note size is 155 x 74 mm or 6.10 x 2.56 in, slightly thinner than a US Dollar.

  • The preferred method to preserve this note are standard size protective sleeves.

  • The First Cordoba ISO 4217 code was NIO, it uses C$ as its official symbol.

  • The Second Cordoba was the only Cordoba variant to use a different ISO code.

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